Best places to exchange currency in Dubai

Adam Rozsa

If you're planning a trip to Dubai, it's important to know how to get the currency of the country you’re visiting. Also, you might want to know the current exchange rate and the best places to withdraw cash.

So, in this article, we’ll show you the best places to visit to exchange currency in Dubai, and we’ll show you an alternative, Wise – which may be cheaper and help you save the effort of going to a physical location – but more on this later.


The United Arab Emirates: currency overview

First off, in case you’re wondering something along the lines of “does The United Arab Emirates use UAE dirhams?”, the answer is yes. The currency in Dubai — and the rest of The United Arab Emirates — is the UAE dirham.

You can also find it written as AED in currency exchange shops.

Check out today’s rate below:

What you should know about exchanging money in Dubai

Before exchanging money in Dubai or any foreign city, it's important to be informed to avoid excessive charges and get the best deals. Consider opening a bank account in The United Arab Emirates for long-term stays or substantial investments like buying property or cars.

Beware of 'zero fee' services

Services claiming 'no commission' often offer poor exchange rates, not reflecting the mid-market rate, leading to hidden profits for them.

Check the exchange rate beforehand

Familiarize yourself with the base rate to identify a bad deal from exchange services.

Avoid exchanging money at airports or hotels

Convenience comes at a price, as airports and hotels usually offer poor rates and high transaction fees.

Use ATMs strategically

Check if your home bank has partnerships with Dubai banks to avoid extra ATM fees, and inform your bank before traveling.

Opt for local currency

When using an ATM abroad, choose to be charged in UAE dirhams for a fairer rate and avoid undisclosed exchange rates and additional fees.

Exchange money in just a few clicks with Wise

Say goodbye to overcomplicated currency exchange.

Wise can help you get a better deal on currency conversion in over 40 currencies, with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees.

Open a personal Wise account online or in the Wise app, and order a linked debit card for a one-time fee to spend and withdraw money in 150+ countries.

There’s no fee to spend any currency you hold, and no foreign transaction fee to worry about.

Use your account when you travel or shop online in foreign currencies, send payments in 70+ currencies, and get your own local bank details in 9 currencies.

Get a Wise Account
in minutes!

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Where can you exchange currency in Dubai?

Well, we’ve already been through some of the options you have and aspects to watch out for. So if you’re still into the idea of carrying cash around and exchanging it, here are some popular foreign currency exchange locations in Dubai.

One last reminder, though: there’s no such thing as fee-free or 0% commission foreign exchange transactions. So, always check the mid-market exchange rate in advance, so you know how much your money’s worth.

1. Al Ansari Exchange

Al Ansari Exchange was established in 1966, and is one of the most well-known exchanges in Dubai. It has more than 70 branches across the United Arab Emirates.

BranchesTheir list of branches includes:
  • Dubai Mall (3): Second floor (Aquarium side), Financial Center Street, Along Sheikh Zayed Road
  • Mall of the Emirates (1): Ground floor, Sheikh Zayed Road – Al Barsha – Al Barsha 1
  • Mall of the Emirates (2): TCK12- First level, Entrance 1, Sheikh Zayed Road - Al Barsha - Al Barsha 1
Opening hoursOpening hours vary depending on the branch – you can check here.
Contact information
  • Phone: 600 54 6000
  • Email: info@alansari.ae³

2. Al Fardan Exchange

If you're looking for an exchange service that's available in the main Dubai malls, Al Fardan Exchange is a good option. The Group has more than 15 branches, including Bur Dubai and Mall of the Emirates¹.

BranchesTheir list of branches includes:
  • Dubai Festival City Centre: Level 2 (opposite Ikea), Crescent Drive
  • Nakheel Mall: LG Level, Center of Palm – Al Hilali – The Palm Jumeirah
  • Onyx Tower: Sheikh Zayed Road, beside Emaar Business Park, Abdullah Omran Taryam Street
Opening hoursOpening hours vary depending on the branch – you can check here.
Contact information
  • Phone: 600 52 2265
  • Email:

3. Sharaf Exchange

As well as currency exchange, the Sharaf Exchange offers personal and corporate remittance services, and paycheck services to pay your workers’ wages. You can find one of its 15+ branches across the region3.

BranchesTheir list of branches includes⁶:
  • Al Qusais: Shop No - 6, New Obaidullah Building, Amman Street
  • Deira City Centre: TW27, Ground Floor, Deira City Centre, East Court
  • Jumeirah Beach Residence: Al Shams Building Shop No.G-03, The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence
Opening hoursOpening hours vary depending on the branch – you can check here.
Contact information
  • Phone: +971 4 355 4560
  • Email:

Bottom line

As you can see, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to exchanging money in Dubai. Don't forget to do your research on the exchange rate before converting your money, and check Wise out if you want a fuss-free alternative to exchanging cash.

Learn more about Wise

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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